Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Book Review: Hostile Beauty by Vanessa North
by Vanessa North
M/M Contemporary erotic romance
Twenty years ago, Winnie Wexford--a vindictive state senator not above a smear campaign against Andrew. Andrew's grateful for the help of his erstwhile brother-in-law, David, until the help turns up in the form of PR guru Levi Beaumont, Andrew's every fantasy come to life.
Levi is beautiful, smart, and righteous. When his mentor, David asks him to take on a difficult client for the PR firm, Levi agrees, in spite of a very real risk to his career working with non-profits to get them the attention they deserve. He knows facing off against a powerful politician could destroy his career, but he agrees out of loyalty to his mentor.Andrew and Levi are thrown into tense proximity as they work to protect Andrew and expose Wexford.
As Andrew opens his tightly-guarded private life to Levi, hostility turns to respect, respect to passion, and the stakes go much deeper than career or reputation.
Review first published at The Romance Reviews
An interesting take on Beauty and the Beast trope.
Twenty years ago, Andrew Eccleston suffered horrific burns during a car accident and his life has never been the same since.
He lives for two things: his work and revenge on the man who caused the accident, a corrupt politician that Andrew wants to bring down in any way possible. When his lawyer brother-in-law sends Levi to help him do just that, Andrew wonders if David is being deliberately cruel or just didn't think.
For Levi is the perfect specimen of manhood and the sort of bloke Andrew would have gone for, if he wasn't so scarred. For how could someone so perfect even take a second look at someone like him?
I have to say I have a fondness for scarred or damaged heroes, and Ms. North doesn't disappoint here. It was wonderful that we got to see the story from both points of view and the readers knew that Levi loves Andrew, scars and all. But it's not just physical scars that Andrew has. He's an emotional wreck, closed off from nearly everyone and he finds it hard to trust.
There's a spark between them from their first meeting and it isn't long before they are having sex. When Andrew told Levi that's all it was, my heart dropped to somewhere near my feet. It was such an intense, emotional scene.
The love scenes are explicit and very sensual but what mattered most was the emotions the two men felt, because no matter what they said, it wasn't just sex for them.
But don't fret too much, this is a romance after all and you'll be rooting for the heroes to get their happily ever after.
My only niggle would be that the plot to bring down the politician seemed to go nowhere and I for one would have quite liked to see his comeuppance.
A beautiful, well-written erotic romance.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby
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